Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor Review

Kid Safe: Low                      Game Quality: Moderate

Genre: First-Person Shooter
-          These game are characterized by the viewpoint and weapons used in the title. In a first person shooter, you are looking down the barrel of a gun as though you yourself are holding the weapon. Likewise, as the term "shooter" implies, the game specifically uses guns and firearms.

Internet Requirements: Moderate
-          This game features a moderate amount of internet usage. While it does have a good deal of offline content that can be played without internet connection; this title also offers plenty of online content which includes a multiplayer-mode where players may compete against each other or play together to complete the main story.

Story Summary: In Medal of Honor, you experience the trials and tribulations that the
     American Special Forces endure quietly behind the scenes in countries far
     from home. You play the role of multiple soldiers from different branches of
     the uniformed services including "Rabbit", one of America's elite Navy
     SEALS, "Deuce", a Tier 1 Special Operations Infiltrator, and Adams, one of
     the Army's finest Rangers; just to name a few. You begin the game in a tactical
     operation in Afghanistan after receiving a tip concerning a possible terrorist
     group. From there, your soldiers are led on the fight for their lives as they are
     lead through a war in Afghanistan against the terrorist group, "Al Qaeda"; a
     battle that they will never forget and that some may not return from.

Kid Safe: Low
-          Foul Language: High
o   Medal of Honor contains a rather high amount of foul language particularly with the words a*s, s*it, and f*ck especially. While the language is not used to the point that you are hearing it every several minutes in game, it is an ever present aspect of the ongoing dialogue between characters. This title's favorite curse word appears to be f*ck and it is used quite often by a multitude of characters throughout the entirety of the game.

-          Violence and Gore: Very High - Not Recommended for Children
o   Medal of Honor features an extremely high amount of violence and depictions of blood and gore. To begin, this title features a very realistic depiction of wartime violence and, as such, players are virtually "killing" other human beings. This particular point was emphasized to the point that it was pulled from stores on Military bases as you are able to play as Afghani insurgent forces and kill U.S. soldiers. Likewise, deaths are particularly gruesome. Shooting individuals in the head and occasionally in the chest merits a red spray of gore and viscera out of the backside of the individual. As well, when you use attack someone at close range, you pull out a knife and stab them, causing them to slowly slump over and die before you with a shocked and terrified look in their eyes. Finally, should your character suffer any fatal injuries, he drops down dead in a first person view; most often with a single hand twitching and going limp before the camera.

-          Sexually-Related Content: Very Low
o   To the extent of the reviewer's knowledge, this game features no depictions or references to sexually-related content or nudity.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: Very Low
o   To the extent of the reviewer's knowledge, this game features no depictions or references to drug or alcohol usage.

Game Quality: Moderate
-          Graphics / Visuals: Moderate
o   The graphics and visuals for Medal of Honor are truly a mixed bag. To begin with the good; the title features visually well-done characters with the soldiers' depictions as well as the surrounding landscapes and buildings being presented rather nicely. While these graphics are not the best on the market, they are far from being the worse. On top of this, the game features some of the finest and most realistic dust and lighting effects that I have seen in any title so far; this makes a particularly strong impact on gameplay given most levels take place in the middle of the Afghani desert. Finally, this title makes use of the "Frostbite engine" in the multiplayer mode, a feature exclusive to the developers of the game that allows buildings and environments the ability to be destroyed by the players; something most games do not have.
o   Sadly, for every positive point concerning the game's visuals there is an equally negative point, as well. To begin, the presentation of fire and things such as falling mud or rock from explosions is absolutely horrible. Explosions do not send pieces of earth or buildings flying, but instead rain down solid streaks of color. Likewise, the fire animations appear like simply a rotation of pictures of fire placed into the game; one was even so bad that it appeared stretched like it had been photo-manipulated rather than like a large area was on fire. On top of this, the game suffers from graphical glitches; a perfect example being how, when sliding across the ground, there were several occasions that I saw under the animation of the ground and saw breaking of the 3d model. Finally, the "Frostbite engine" that so drastically improves the environment visuals in the multiplayer was NOT available in the single player campaign; making you feel almost like you are play two separate games.
-          Audio: Very High
o   The audio quality of Medal of Honor deserves some of the highest praises of any game we have reviewed so far. This comes as a bit of a shock due to the very obvious problems that the graphics and visuals suffered. I will begin with what stood out the most to me: the audio quality of the gunshots in the game. I admit that this sounds like a very strange thing to focus on, however it deserves a very special mention as it is rarely done right and instead just replaced with generic sounds and explosions. Instead, the guns actually sound correct in Medal of Honor when fired and each one varies from one another exactly how the firearms do in real life; not to even mention the sound of bullets whizzing past you and landing around you, as I might go on for a while. On top of this, the voice acting is truly a treat to behold. Characters and voice actors truly emote; providing a masterful performance that lends an intense and fulfilling experience to listen to that brings you along for a rollercoaster of emotion and action. This game is a real treat for anyone with a high quality sound system.

-          Gameplay / Playability: Moderate
o   While Medal of Honor generally aims for a high level of gameplay, it suffers from an unpolished performance. To begin, the game attempts to be very user friendly; using controls generally accepted as the norm for the majority of first-person shooters on the market. It also features a full explanation of every control before ever throwing you into battle. This same level of courtesy is also shown through-out the game in the sections of the game that allow you to use a specialized, high-powered sniper rifle, a special laser-marker that allows you to call in air strikes, and a section where you are in the gunner seat of an Apache helicopter. The game also features an Auto-Aim function that assists players in firing against enemies; refocusing the gun onto an enemy if they are close to them so that players do not waster their ammunition. And, should you run out of ammo, Medal of Honor is one of the first titles I have seen that allows you to use your partners as ammo cases; allowing you to request ammo from them and instantly be refilled if you are low.
o   Despite the game's attempts to be user-friendly, it feels like it needed more polish before being released. The game suffers from an unusually high amount of glitches that; some of them being so bad as to heavily effect gameplay. One that comes to mind is one time, while watching a passing patrol and waiting for them to pass, one of the soldiers was randomly rocketed into the sky for no apparent reason and hit the ground several seconds later; causing the other soldiers to instantly start attacking us as their compatriot had been injured (even though it was not by our doing). Another time, while online, I hid against a wall and hit the button to change my weapon. Instead of changing my weapon I was phased through a wall and put OUTSIDE of the building I was just in. These are just several of the glitches I ran into; I don't care to list them all as said list is a little large.
-          Dollar-Value: Low
o   Medal of Honor has a low dollar-value. To begin, the game suffers from strange graphical problems as well as a fair amount of glitches (previously mentioned above). Attempting to overlook this fact, the single player story, like most of the first-person shooters being released today, is rather short. The single player campaign will only garner about 5 to 8 hours of gameplay; double this if the player wishes to play the "Tier 1" mode which is the single player story but with a timer attached to it that you are attempting to out-run. Likewise, the multiplayer is not very impressive: featuring very few maps, a lackluster leveling system, 3 static types of soldier that you can play, and very little customizability. This game proves rather unimpressive and your average player will have experienced everything it has to offer within a week.

-          As this game suffers from both a lackluster presentation as well as a high amount of violence, I would recommend most other recognized first-person shooters. Halo: Reach or any other of the Halo series would be an excellent choice for a first person shooter featuring reduced amounts of graphic violence. Likewise, if your player is a larger fan of the realistic military shooter; I would recommend Battlefield: Bad Company, Call of Duty 2 and 3, or Medal of Honor: Frontline or European Assault. While these games do feature violence against soldiers, they do not feature graphic depiction of blood and gore.

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